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Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Meredith Somers

Christmas Color: Gyasi and Zara Cash of Temple Hills, Md., visit a popular black Santa Claus at the Mall at Prince George's in Hyattsville. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Yes, Megyn, there is a black Santa

For Phyllis Sartor and her 3-year-old grandson, Jesse, Santa Claus isn't the face of a national debate over race and ethnicity, he's the symbol of Christmas and the holiday spirit. Published December 19, 2013

Mark D. Obenshain

Obenshain to concede Virginia AG race

Republican Mark D. Obenshain has scheduled a 3 p.m. press conference in Richmond in which he will concede the Virginia attorney general's race as preliminary recount results suggest he is falling farther behind. Published December 18, 2013

Mark D. Obenshain

Obenshain raises ballot security issue in Va.

Virginia's largest voting jurisdiction is set to begin a recount Monday for the tightest race in state history, even as one candidate raises concerns about the conduct of the election. Published December 15, 2013

Vice President Joseph R. Biden recalls warmly his meeting with Nelson Mandela in South Africa during Wednesday's national memorial service for the former South African president at the Washington National Cathedral. "So many places in the world need the spirit of Nelson Mandela," Mr. Biden said. (andrew harnik/the washington times)

Washington honors an 'African son'

Hundreds of people joined foreign dignitaries, civil-rights leaders and the vice president of the United States on Wednesday to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. Published December 11, 2013

** FILE ** In this Sept. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign warning of the coming assault weapons ban in Maryland is next to AR-15 semi-automatic rifles at the Annapolis Gun Show. "You see people who've bought guns, you see older people. This is not about what everybody thinks it is. This is a plan to disarm America," said Neil Kravitz of Appalachian Promotions. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Maryland makes 'top tier' for its control of guns

Maryland's gun laws are the fourth most stringent in the country, according to a national gun control advocacy group, the result of new legislation requiring a handgun license and fingerprinting that supporters said will help keep firearms out of the wrong hands. Published December 10, 2013

A man walks on a snowy road in Towson, Md., Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Residents along the East Coast and in the Appalachians woke up to snow Tuesday and government workers and students in the Washington region were told to stay home as the area saw a round of snow that came just a few days after some parts already got several inches. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Snow prompts closures in D.C. area, slippery conditions remain

A second round of winter weather blew through the D.C. area early Tuesday, prompting the closure of the federal government and local school systems and leaving a blanket of snow in advance of what could be a slippery evening commute. Published December 10, 2013

George Sobba (center), 7, of Arlington, Va., throws a football in the parking lot of FedEx Field in Landover, Md., as the Washington Redskins get set to play the Kansas City Chiefs in snowy conditions on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Early snowfall changes to sleet in D.C. area

Snow and sleet from a powerful winter storm wreaked havoc around the D.C. area on Sunday, prompting the early closure of the National Zoo, canceling holiday events and causing numerous car crashes on area roads. Published December 8, 2013

David Velasco shovels snow on a sidewalk in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Most of southern Missouri was under winter weather warnings, with up to 8 inches of snow possible by Friday evening. (AP Photo/The Springfield News-Leader, Nathan Papes) NO SALES

Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area

The D.C. area is facing its first serious winter storm of the season this weekend, as sleet, snow and single-digit temperatures make their way into the area. Published December 5, 2013

Merchandise supervisor Ke'lley Howard leads employees in a "Wal-Mart cheer" Tuesday at the Wal-Mart store on H Street in Northwest, a day before the store opens.
Merchandise supervisor Ke'lley Howard leads a "Wal-Mart Cheer" with his fellow employees the day before Walmart opens their doors for the first time at 99 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 3, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times) (andrew harnik/the washington times)

Wal-Mart opening its doors in D.C.

Christmas lights, family-size frozen lasagna, gaming systems, and even Dallas Cowboys sweatshirts are just some of the items available to customers beginning Wednesday, when two Wal-Mart stores open their doors in the District and usher in a new era in urban big-box retail. Published December 3, 2013

An aerial view of Washington D.C, USA including the Capitol Building around Jan. 3, 1931. (AP Photo)

Agreement in D.C. a tall order

The head of a powerful House committee told a roomful of planners and development watchdogs that he would not let a 103-old law limiting the heights of buildings in the District to go another century without addressing its impact, even as the law continues to divide city leaders. Published December 2, 2013

Brian Cannon unloads fresh bamboo for the pandas at the National Zoo. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian eat up to 150 pounds of bamboo every day, soon to be joined by their cub. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

National Zoo taps into local growers to keep pandas well-fed

The National Zoo's giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang combined eat as much as 150 pounds of bamboo every day. To meet that daily quota of bamboo, a team of 10 nutritionists shares the responsibility of harvesting bamboo from one of the zoo's roughly 15 sites around the D.C. area. Published November 28, 2013

Participants in a handgun qualification license class listen to Dick Chiapparoli as he gives firing instructions during the live-shooting portion of the class at Gilbert's Indoor Shooting Range in Rockville. Maryland residents need to take the class before they can buy a gun under a law passed this year. (andrew harnik/the washington times)

Ready to aim and fire with classes for Maryland gun licenses

Anyone looking to buy a handgun in Maryland must obtain a qualifying license, a process that includes four hours of training taught by a certified instructor and time spent firing at a range. Classes are finally beginning under the tutelage of instructors like Richard Chiapparoli, and gun buyers are getting an education. Published November 27, 2013